After a month in a big city, it’s time for some nature – so we left Mazatlán for an island national park and bird sanctuary known for its snorkeling, bird watching, whale watching, and overall isolation.

Trip Summary – 02/23/2023 to 02/24/2023

Left the dock in Mazatlán at 11:15 on 02/23/2023, anchored at Parque Nacional Isla Isabel at 19:11 on 02/24/2023.

It’s best to hit the breakwater as close to slack as possible. High tide was 10:30, we were about 45 minutes late, but still had a peaceful exit. We motored out past the creepy underwater structures, then raised the mainsail just past the breakwater. I scrubbed down the fenders. Charles packed up lines.

We sailed in between the islands that make Mazatlán so picturesque, then pointed south-east for a long, single tack. These are the first miles that we expect to need to make again. We are still deciding where to keep the boat for hurricane season, but there’s a good chance it will be Mazatlán, so every mile south may be one to do again in reverse in May.

We had the hook in the water, but only caught a little mackerel (threw him back). Humpbacks surfaced all day. Charles napped and I worked remotely. It was overcast and downright chilly all day! The sunset was fantastic, with the sun peeking through the clouds just at the horizon to create golden waves crashing on our hull. A whale surfaced nearby. It was heaven.

Charles cooked dinner, but got a little seasick doing it, so he came out to nap in the cockpit while I took first watch. At 11:15 we changed over, and I went down to sleep below. The wind dropped significantly after sunset, and we slowed to about 2 knots through sunrise. We had plenty of 48 volt power to motor, but we were still making progress and on the right course, so on we sailed.

The next morning, turtles were everywhere. We saw at least 12 turtles before mid-afternoon, and even a bird riding on a turtle – hilarious. Shortly after our 11:15 a.m. log entry, we changed time zones! So there is a missing hour in the log (straight from 11:15 to 13:15). We got the drifter up around the same time. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. We saw the island grow slowly on our approach, and more birds came to check us out. There was one other boat on the eastern horizon, also heading for the island.

There are three anchorages – on the west, the south, and the east. The west is least protected. The south is best protected, but has a rocky bottom and also rocks just under the surface, so your anchor can get stuck or your boat could bump a rock. The east is moderately protected by a huge rock and a shoal, and has a sand bottom. The other boat anchored in the east, so we continued on to the south to check it out. We found an okay spot, dropped anchor, and then got on the VHF. One other boat in the southern cove welcomed us, but the boat anchored on the east advised us to move close to them. We pulled up anchor and re-set. It was a comfortable setting, and a beautiful spot! We settled just after sunset, and whales continued to spout and surface in the distance.

Now to catch up on some sleep and then look for some (blue footed) boobies!